Driving is one thing that requires 100% of our undivided attention—and when you’re well-focused on the road, it’s not hard to see if other drivers may be having problems.
If this is the case, taking extreme caution to assess the situation and possibly assist other drivers is always important, since you never know if someone may need immediate help.
Just one day after Christmas in 2017, Vicki Witte was driving on a highway in the Cedar Rapids area. Suddenly, she felt her heart stop.
Witte was going into cardiac arrest while driving on the road.
As Witte struggled to control her vehicle, she began swerving around on the highway. Luckily, a man behind her, Arturo Melendez, noticed and became concerned about the safety of this driver.
Amazingly, Witte had enough energy left to pull over to the side of the road—and Melendez decided to pull over as well in order to check on her. When he came up to the car, Witte didn’t look good.
Melendez tried to open her car door, but it was locked, and Witte wasn’t responsive enough to unlock it. He knew the woman inside was in serious trouble.
Melendez had no choice but to bust open her window so he could unlock the door.
“I had to do something, because I knew she was dying in front of me,” Melendez told KCRG News.
He then started performing CPR on her; he had never properly learned how to do it, but claims that he used CPR methods that he’d seen in movies on the woman.
The CPR worked long enough until a sheriff ran up and took over. Witte was taken to the hospital, where she was in stable condition.
Words are not enough to express my heartfelt gratitude to Arturo who saved my life You really are my hero!
Witte’s daughter, Brandi Bernard, created a GoFundMe page for her mother’s medical expenses, and she praised Melendez for helping save Witte’s life. It has already reached more than $1,600 in less than two weeks.
“If it wasn’t for the Good Samaritan who stopped to help my mom, she would not be alive right now,” Bernard said.
Melendez made sure to check up on Witte at the hospital, and Bernard said the family will keep in touch with him in the future.
“He’s my hero as far as I’m concerned,” Witte said.
According to the American Heart Association, CPR is crucial for treating people who have gone into cardiac arrest, and more than 100,000 lives could be saved every year if CPR is performed early enough.
CPR.heart.org recommends using 100 to 120 compressions per minute, which is similar to the beat of the timeless hit “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. These compressions could be the difference between life and death.
Witte also stressed how important it is for drivers to be aware if other people on the road are acting unusual, and says it never hurts to check up on them.